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I need to find a simple game in which several people need to interact with each other. The game should be simple for an analysis (it should be simple to describe what happens in the game, what players did). Because of the last reason, the video games are not appropriate for my purposes. I am thinking of a simple, schematic, strategic game where people can make a limited set of simple moves.

Moreover, the moves of the game should be conditioned not only by a pure logic (like in chess or go). The behavior in the game should depend on psychological factors, on relations between people. In more details, I think it should be a cooperation game where people make their decisions based on mutual trust. It would be nice if players can express punishment and forgiveness in the game.

Does anybody knows a game that is close to what I have described above?


I need to add that I need a game where actions of players are simple and easy to formalize. Because of that I cannot use verbal games (where communication between players is important). By simple actions I understand, for example, moves on the board from one position to another one, or passing chips from one player to another one and so on.

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closed as off-topic by Byte56 Oct 28 '13 at 15:36

  • This question does not appear to be about game development within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

If videogames are not appropriate, I guess you should ask there instead – o0'. Feb 16 '11 at 10:57
Roman asked it at boardgames after your suggestion @Lo'oris :… – Ricket Feb 16 '11 at 17:02
@Ricket: yeah, I noticed — I wonder why people answered here...? oh, well. – o0'. Feb 17 '11 at 7:40
@Lo'oris, sorry for the duplicate. I did not want to post the same question to different sites. But I do not know how/if I can transfer my question to another site. But I check both sites and appreciate all answers. – Roman Feb 17 '11 at 9:04
It is perfectly acceptable to post your question on multiple sites, you did the right thing and I hope that you did get some good answers. I was simply pointing it out for reference as to why I didn't move the question (or consider if it was the right thing to do). – Ricket Feb 17 '11 at 14:17

There's Mafia, a "party game" where players are split in two teams: a few members of the Mafia who know each other and a larger group of regular people who don't know who is who. The goal of each team is to eliminate the other one.

Mafiosi kill one person at night. On the following day, people deliberate to nominate somebody who'll be killed. That's where you find psychology. The art of lying, betrayal and denunciation.

Very fun game. I especially like the werewolf variant.

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thank you for the answer. I though about Mafia (and I like this game) but it is not good for my purposes because it is hard to formalize the behavior of players. In this game it is important what people say (the meaning is important), the intonation is also important. I want to have a game where actions of players are simple and clear (for example: player gave two chips to another player, player moved from this square to this one and so on). – Roman Feb 16 '11 at 11:07

Have you considered card games? Specifically something like straight poker (complete hands, no draws, no community cards). The mechanics are really simple, and all of the strategy is purely estimations of your opponents' state.

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Perhaps consider Mao. Be warned that looking it up will ruin it for yourself, but in theory you could keep track of strict actions to try to draw psychological conclusions.

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I've not played it myself, it might also be a bit more complex than you want, but I've a friend who likes

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It sounds like you are asking a question about Game Theory. This weird branch of math-psychology-business contains a number of "games" that sound exactly like what you are asking for, such as the Ultimatum Game and Prisoner's Dilemma. Each player makes a very simple yes/no or numeric choice, results are compared to an outcome table, and players typically follow algorithms that are based partly on math/logic and partly on a subjective sense of fairness.

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I find Galcon to be a great example of a simple game with a huge psychology factor. You have to play it for rather a while before you figure out what's really going on as far as strategy, but once you do it's fairly deep. The trade off between looking too dangerous and looking too weak is fascinating.

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